Thursday, July 25, 2013

Meal Planning For Those Who Hate Meal Planning

I don't know if you have ever seen one of those blogs that manages to put out a meal plan for an entire month.  I hate those blogs.  Well, not really.  I just hate it when people are so confident in what they are making for dinner three weeks from now?  Who does that?  I sometimes have trouble deciding what to make for dinner the same day.

Since I an not a planner, but I still like to stay organized, I thought I would share with you my method of figuring out what I can make for dinner on any given day.  This might just change your life.  Or it might not.  If it helps make your dinner planning a little easier, I'll be satisfied.

1. Make a list of starter ingredients.  A starter ingredient is one that I base my meal around.  For me this usually involves some sort of frozen meat (frozen because I stock up when it's on sale).  If I buy a Bountiful Basket one week, it might involve fresh vegetables.

2. For each starter ingredient, plan a meal.  For example if I have ground beef as my starter ingredient I might put Shepard's Pie.  If I have green peppers, I might put stuffed peppers.  Cabbage might be Cabbage Burgers.  Chicken might be Crock Pot Massaman Curry.  You get the idea.

3.  For each meal, list the ingredients that you don't have on hand and will need to pick up at the store.

That's it!  I even made a handy printable so you can try my method.  Download it here.  You can see one of the printouts pictured above with sparkles because using it is so magical.  There is no guarantee, however, that the sparkles will appear when you use the printout.  In fact, they probably won't.  Please don't be disappointed.

I like to to tape my lists to my fridge so I can refer to it when I am trying to come up with dinner.  I can quickly decide what I have on hand, and make a grocery list for what I might want to make later.  I cross things out as I make them and replace the list when my adjustments and scribbles become bothersome.

If you try my method or my printout, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes.

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